29 Feb 2012

Kiwinet looks across Tasman for collaboration

7:12 am on 29 February 2012

A New Zealand network which aims to commercialise research has spread its wings across the Tasman by teaming up with Australia's national science agency.

Kiwinet was formed last year by six universities and four Crown Research Institutes that want to promote the commercialisation of New Zealand's science and technology research.

Nigel Johnson is a director of research and innovation at the University of Canterbury, a founding member of Kiwinet.

Dr Johnson also worked at the Commomwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO, with which Kiwinet's now joined forces.

He says CSIRO is Australia's single largest employer of scientists, and the networks will initially exchange project information four times a year to see whether opportunities for collaboration exist.

Such areas might include agriculture, water management, food technologies, health technologies, the ICT sector and high value manufacturing, he says.

Dr Johnson says the CSIRO agreement builds on a similar commercialisation agreement with a network in Texas, and more international alliances are possible, especially with research organisations in Asia and Europe.

Kiwinet's founding members include WaikatoLink, Plant and Food Research, Otago Innovation, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Industrial Research and Viclink.